DPL Winter Tour Kicks Off 2021-22 Dota 2 Season Amid Turmoil

DPL Winter Tour Kicks Off 2021-22 Dota 2 Season Amid Turmoil
DPL Winter Tour Kicks Off 2021-22 Dota 2 Season Amid Turmoil Pixabay

The Dota Pro Circuit 2021-22 Season is finally underway, with the DPL Winter Tour kicking off the season. One of the largest and most prestigious esports leagues in the world, the Dota Pro Circuit started in late November and will conclude with The International 2022, to be held in August. Unlike the previous season, which featured only two tours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s tournament will have three tours.

A single competitive season of the Dota Pro Circuit lasts about one calendar year, beginning in the fall and ending in the summer of the following year. Each Dota Pro Circuit season is made up of three tours. A tour consists of one Regional League and one Major tournament. These tours allow competing teams to earn DPC points, which are the most reliable path for consistent teams to obtain invitations to The International.

Each Regional League operates as a round-robin event, with victorious teams advancing to compete in the Season’s Major. The Majors are elimination-style competitions in which high-performing squads can win cash prizes and DPC points.

When all three tours of the Dota Pro Circuit season are completed, the last leg of the journey to The International starts. The top 12 teams with the most DPC points at the end of the tours are guaranteed a spot at The International. Teams that do not earn these spots will have one more chance to do so during the Regional Qualifiers.

The International will begin once the Regional Qualifiers have ended. This exhilarating event serves as the Dota Pro Circuit grand finals. The winning team at The International is crowned Dota 2 World Champion, receives a massive cash prize pool, and claims their due place in Dota history by lifting the Aegis of Champions.

Due to the quick spread of the Omicron COVID variant, however, Valve announced last week the cancellation of the Winter Tour Major, with the DPC points of this first major redistributed to the second and third major. The DPL Winter Tour will conclude after all of the regional league tournaments have ended. Ahead of next week’s fixtures, bookmakers have PSG.LGD and Team Spirit, who both lead their respective divisions, as the top contenders in the final leg of the Winter Tour Regional League.

Winter Tour Regional League

So far, the Winter Tour Regional Leagues have been giving Dota 2 fans some of the best games in recent years. Early on, some teams like PSG.LGD, Team Liquid, and Team Spirit have demonstrated their potential as title contenders, blasting through opponents in the initial rounds of the tour.

In North America’s Division I, Quincy Crew are at the top of table, after winning six of their seven matches, which included great wins against Arkosh Gaming and Simply Toobased. They are closely followed by Evil Geniuses and Undying, both with 5 wins and two losses.

Team Liquid are the current leaders of Division I in Western Europe, with 6 wins and 1 loss, despite some disappointing performances throughout the tour. Team Tickles sit in second place, with five wins and two losses, ahead of Tundra Esports with a 4-3 record.

The International 10 runners-up PSG.LGD, one of the strongest squads in the world right now, are the division leaders in the Chinese regionals. With a 6-0 record so far, which included an astounding victory over regional rivals Royal Never Give Up, PSG.LGD is expected to finish the regionals with a perfect record. Team Aster is currently in second place, with a 5-1 record, ahead of Royal Never Give Up, with 4 wins and 2 losses.

Winter Major cancellation

On January 12, Valve announced the cancellation of the Winter Major due the spread of new strains of COVID-19, particularly the Omicron variant. Since the Winter Tour Major would be structured as an international LAN event with teams traveling to an undisclosed location to compete, Valve was forced to reconsider its Dota Pro Circuit schedule.

“As the Winter Tour of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021-2022 season draws to a close, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the first Major,” announced Valve. “While hopes were high that we could host an international LAN event, the discovery and spread of new strains of COVID-19 and the resulting increase of travel restrictions has made it unfeasible for all qualified teams to gather for a LAN tournament. [...] Since the first Major is no longer happening, we have decided to redistribute its points to the second and third Major.”

After Valve quietly revealed the Major’s cancellation through a blog post, pro gamers, broadcast talent, content providers, and fans from all over the world have all spoken out against the move. And according to Cale Michael, from Dot Esports, “Valve had a direct meeting with all of the teams present at The International 10, asking them to no longer go public with complaints and instead contact Valve directly.”

After this backlash, Valve provided an additional update regarding the Winter Major cancellation. “We hear your disappointment regarding the cancellation of the first major. We made the decision based on a number of factors, some related to Omicron, some related to travel tournament issues for competitors during Omicron, and some related to the willingness for tournament organizers to run the event. We should have done a better job of keeping you all in the loop [...] We apologize for this.”

Join the Discussion
Top Stories